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Globalization is a very broad term. The definition best and easiest to understand I found was, “globalization is how countries are coming together as one big global economy, making international trade easier.” Globalization is a part of most Americans lives today. It’s in the shoes we run in, the clothes we wear and the technology we have in our back pockets. Nelson Mandela criticized it by saying, “where globalization means, as it so often does, that the rich and powerful now have new means to further enrich and empower themselves at the cost of the poorer and weaker, we have a responsibility to protest in the name of universal freedom.
” He points out that it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.
Globalization has both positives and negatives. Unfortunately, many people only seem to focus on the positives and refuse to pull the curtain back to look deeper and see the negatives. Globalization, when looked at in only a positive light, encourages improvement in the global economy, cheaper products, free trade and jobs for developing countries (Collins, 2015).
Some may argue that there are no negatives to globalization, but according to Forbes, they would be wrong. When looking at the negatives of globalization the biggest problems people have with it are that globalization makes the rich richer and those that are not rich poorer and also globalization takes jobs away from the American people.
In today’s economy, people and companies are looking to make an extra buck by any means necessary.
A large portion of these companies turn to offshoring. According to James Bucki, author of The Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing in Business, “…[offshoring involves] outsourcing to a third party in a country other than the one in which the outsourcing company is based in, [in] order to save on labor costs” (2017). Most large corporations such as Wal-Mart, Nike, Under Armor, Lululemon Athletica, Colombia Sportswear, Apple, Dell, and even Disney partake is this form of globalization. They do this to manufacture their products at a cheaper price so that they can sell them and make a larger profit.
When offshoring, these large corporations use third-party manufacturers, whose main source of production is from sweatshops who underpay their employees and force them to work overtime against the laws set in place by the government. ‘In December, two nongovernmental organizations, or NGO’s,’ found that 15 factories who produced goods for Wal-Mart were in violation of several labor laws by their use of children in their factories and abuse on their employees. An interview with two young workers, age 16 and 18, from Huanya, one of Wal-Mart’s top producers of Christmas tree ornaments, stated that they ‘worked 12 hours a day, six days a week, for $120 to $200 a month” (Barboza, 2008). This is substantially lower than this company was required by law to pay them. In a sense, this type of globalization encourages racism, because these workers are seen as low, bottom-of-the-barrel people who don’t deserve their equal and unalienable rights.
While globalization makes products cheaper and way more accessible it also takes away jobs from the countries where the companies originated. Forbes states that “according to conservative estimates by Robert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute, granting China most favored nation status drained away 3.2 million jobs, including 2.4 million manufacturing jobs. He pegs the net losses due to our trade deficit with Japan ($78.3 billion in 2013) at 896,000 jobs, as well as an additional 682,900 jobs from the Mexico –U.S. trade-deficit run-up from 1994 through 2010” (Collins, 2015). With over 3 million jobs being sent to countries that pay their workers less, the American people end up suffering. Not only are jobs being taken away from the working Americans, but there is also a constant threat of exporting more jobs overseas if there are not pay-cut and layoffs in manufacturing plants in the United States. While the American people are suffering from the loss of jobs the countries gaining the new factories also lose as well.
When these companies expand their borders to other countries, they don’t only sell their product, they sell the American culture. This isn’t necessarily a good thing. It causes less developed countries to abandon their own culture for ours. Instead of having a world with greatly diverse cultures we are growing to a unified culture. This threat of one unified culture is a scary thing. Many believe that the barrier between cultures is essential to keeping it (‘9 Huge Globalization Pros and Cons’, 2015). With globalization spreading across the world and introducing Western culture into each individual country the fear is that one day the world will only have one unified culture. Diversity in culture is what makes the world strong and beautiful. Without cultural diversity, problems might never be solved and our perspective might never change.
While globalization is a part of the daily lives of the American people that does not mean it’s what is best for the United States. In the words of Pope Francis, “I recognize that globalization has helped many people rise out of poverty, but it has also damned many others to starve to death. It is true that global wealth is growing in absolute terms, but inequalities have also grown and new poverty arisen.” It is the job of a Global Citizen to seek out injustice and uncover ways to correct that injustice. Globalization has given the United States many things from the shoes on our feet to the iPhone and Androids in our pockets, but is the removal of basic humans rights, jobs, and culture worth the price-cut that is given by globalization?
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